Science & Tech

Seven ways in which streaming conquered the world

Seven ways in which streaming conquered the world

Sponsored by Virgin Media

1. The technology

It's estimated that 26 per cent of UK households now have six or more devices they can watch TV programmes on compared to just 5 per cent five years ago. This has enabled millions of people across the UK to consume programming online - whether on the go or at home.

2. An addiction to mobile

Research published last year showed that the average adult in the UK spends more time interacting online or using a device each day (8 hours 41 minutes) than they do sleeping (8 hours 21 minutes).

In fact, so addicted are we to our mobile phones that it is estimated the average mobile phone user picks up their device 1,500 times a week. Eep.

3. A switch in TV viewing habits

In line with the increase in mobile browsing, the popularity of traditional television viewing in the UK has wavered. From a peak of 30.49 hours watched per person per week in 2013, there has been a fall to 27.12 hours per week in 2015.

Among young people, it is estimated that 16-34 year-olds watched 7.1 per cent less television on TV sets in 2014 than they did in 2013.

As well as this switch in habits is the phenomenon of "second screening" - whereby someone watches television while also browsing on their mobile or tablet. It is estimated that two-thirds of young people use another device while watching television.

However, a thirst for television content remains. Younger people (aged 18-24) spend nine hours and 20 minutes watching TV shows through catch-up services like BBC iPlayer or 4OD.

And big television events draw in the viewers like nothing else - 13.9m tuned in to watch England's World Cup defeat to Uruguay last year, while 13.5m people saw the Great British Bake Off final.

4. Rise of streaming websites

On-demand streaming websites like Netflix have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. The service has seen its global subscriptions rise from 22.93m in 2011 to 62.27m this year. In the UK, the figure has rose from 1.5m in 2012 to 4.45m last year.

In fact, so confident is Netflix CEO Reed Hastings of the superiority of online streaming that he estimates "the age of broadcast TV will probably last until 2030".

5. Superfast broadband

In 2008 the average UK broadband speed was 3.6Mpbs. It's now 18.7Mpbs.

In 2014 it was estimated that 6.1m people in the UK had a superfast broadband connection, compared to just 3.9m the year before.

6. Video, video, video

In January this year, 343million requests were made, across all devices, to access content on the BBC iPlayer. In January 2009, the figure was 62million.

Last October, Mark Zuckerberg said video was a "priority" for Facebook, and three months later it was revealed that users were uploading 75 per cent more videos to the social network. In November it overtook YouTube as the biggest video site for brands, while in January it was estimated that more than 3bn videos are watched on the site every day.

Industry experts predicted 1989 would sell 650k first week. You went and bought 1.287 million albums. AND IT'S GOT ME LIKE:

Posted by Taylor Swift on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

On YouTube meanwhile 300 hours of footage is uploaded by more than 1billion users every minute. By 2018 it's thought that 1million minutes of video will be uploaded every second. By then, as much as 90 per cent of global internet traffic will be taken up by video.

7. The growth of new video services

It's not only traditional online brands like YouTube and Facebook that are enjoying incredible growth. New apps are taking advantage of our addiction to mobile browsing and ever-decreasing attention spans. Vine - where videos are no longer than six seconds - now sees 1.5bn "loops" per day (that's 547,500,000,000 a year...). With the advent of new live video services like the Twitter-backed Periscope, it's likely that our addiction to video will continue to soar.

Whatever you want to stream, the best way to do it is via Virgin Media, the UK’s best widely available broadband for streaming.

Virgin Media: cabled areas only. Further legal stuff applies. Best for streaming: Up to 152Mb faster speeds compared to major UK ISPs plus low packet loss and latency (Ofcom 2014 and Farncombe tests 2014) Further legal stuff applies

Quiz: [Which character from The Big Bang Theory are you?]9

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